27 June 2023Guide
UK Guide to Customs Brokerage

What is a customs broker?

A customs broker is someone that prepares and submits documentation to notify or obtain clearance from government agencies such as HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). US customs brokers require a licence issued and overseen by U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

For Customs Brokers and clearing agents operating with the UK and European Union, there is no licensing system. The onus is firmly on the importer or exporter to ensure that any party acting on their behalf is fully aware of how to handle it.

What are the benefits of having a good customs broker?


An ever changing landscape of international trade means customs licensing, legislation and obligations are continuously changing, so staying compliant with cross-border regulations will be paramount to the success of your supply chain. It is a customs broker’s job to stay abreast of the latest requirements whether it’s in relation to new sustainability laws such as CBAM, or human rights requirements such as the additional postcode data needed when importing goods from China. To avoid non-compliance issues, customs brokers will guarantee your goods are following the latest international trade regulations to avoid non-compliance.

Expertise and Industry Insights

Customs brokers have the insights and experience to help facilitate an efficient flow of goods across the supply chain. They hold expertise in managing the administration and paperwork involved with importing and exporting goods across the globe and will ensure everything is handled to the highest standards.

Hiring a seasoned customer broker ultimately alleviates the stress of dealing with the complexities of customs alone.

Cost Savings

Customs brokers will identify cost saving opportunities that may be less apparent to those working in alternative industries. When juggling different tariffs, duties and taxes across different countries, customs brokers can source optimal freight rates, customs warehousing support, accurate tariff classification and duty minimisation to drive down costs for your business.


Customs brokerage will significantly save your time.

They can efficiently deal with delays, unforeseen issues in clearances or freight disruptions, and navigate problems with ease to ensure your supply chain continues to run as smoothly as possible. A customs broker will deal with all documentation to ensure your goods are secure, they’ll have access to innovative industry technology and ultimately save you the time to focus on what really matters for your business.

We are customs experts so you don’t have to be. Whether you ship by air, ocean or road we can help you with your customs clearance requirements, offering clearances through all major UK & US ports and airports.

For more customs brokerage information, and to learn more about your options at Woodland, contact us below:

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